Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Catholic Reflections: Third Sunday of Easter-B - Sunday, 15 April 2018

Homily Third Sunday of Easter-B - Sunday, 15 April 2018

First Reading: Acts 3:13-15. 17-19
Psalm: Ps 4:2. 4. 7. 9 “
Lord, let your face shine on us
Second Reading: 1 John 2:1-5
Gospel Acclamation: cf Luke 24:32
Gospel: Luke 24:35-48

For a version of the Third Sunday of Easter-B - Sunday, 15 April 2018, please choose this link: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/easter-3b-faith-hope-and-love (EPISODE: 91 )
In the gospel, this weekend, the absolute truth of PHYSICAL resurrection of Christ, is again reinforced.

Jesus even shares a meal with his disciples; and makes a point of eating what sounds like a delightful piece of grilled fish to show his disciples he is indeed flesh and blood.

It is quite a claim to suggest that Jesus has risen. The Disciples initially couldn’t believe what they were hearing when reports started coming in that Jesus has risen again. If it were merely a made up story, it would be easy to suggest that he was merely Spiritually risen, and experienced a kind of ethereal and spiritual way, but that is not what is being said and not what has ever been claimed. Jesus is RISEN, and he is truly risen! His disciples saw him, touched him, ate with him and spoke with him on several occasions.

The true genius of the Christian faith is our belief in the Resurrection and what it says about the relationship and connection between the BODY and the SOUL. For Christians, the body is not just some annoying outer shell that encases the pure spirit of a person and which would be better off being cast off so that the person can achieve perfection.
The Greek philosophy (which was very popular and influential in the time of Jesus, and has been very influential throughout history, tends to see a division between body and spirit. The Greek philosophy tends to see the “Spirit” as pure and divine and good, and the body (that is, the physical) is corruptible, sinful and bad.

Even in the Jewish faith, the spirit or the soul was considered (by many) to indeed live on after death, but only some believed in the resurrection of the body. The Jewish understanding tended to see the flesh as earthly and the soul as heavenly.

The Christian belief in the incarnation of Christ (God becoming flesh.. and dwelling among us) and that Jesus is truly God and truly human, shows a profound understanding of the human person which believes in the holiness and the dignity of the body and the material world. We have been saved by Jesus – (God made flesh) - who took on our nature and never cast off.

We believe that Christ’s human nature was never cast off….. He kept his glorified human body when he returned to the Father in Heaven -- This belief informs our teachings on justice and the dignity of the human person and of the sanctity of the human body and why suffering is not something to take lightly.

Jesus Resurrection takes this a step further. The destiny of the human person is that they will one day live with God in Heaven (body and soul). The body is sacred and will be raised up and is not to be cast off in order to attain perfection. God will perfect us physically and spiritually. The earthly, the physical and the material DO matter in Christian spirituality, and cannot be ignored or put out of the picture.

The disciples, in today’s gospel, are shown to be in fear and doubt when suddenly Jesus appears to them and reassures them, giving them literally a solid and tangible foundation for their belief (his physical resurrection), the truth of which will keep them going in good times and in bad,., in peacetime and in persecution,…..

Jesus opened the minds and hearts of his disciples…. Otherwise, they would have gone on sitting and hiding in the upper room, and they would still not have understood……. and they would not have had the courage to go out and preach the Gospel - It is essential that the disciples (and each one of us) are “OPEN” to Jesus’ message.

Our discipleship and following of Christ (if it is to remain authentic) must always have a deeply practical element of action and right-behaviour to it. Our faith must show itself in practical ways for our physical world and the physical body.

One of the readings today pointedly reminds us “anyone who says ‘I know (God)’… but doesn’t keep God’s commandments is a liar.” … Anyone who says ‘I know Jesus’… but does not live according to Jesus’ actions, teachings, values.. and behaviours… /….anyone who does not show real respect for the world and the human person, does NOT have the TRUTH in them.

The other important point from today’s readings is that the Resurrection of Christ and his sacrifice on the cross, tells us a lot about sin and its forgiveness….. ///… We sin. Sadly, this is often what we humans do. But that is never where we leave things. We cannot ever make a concession to weakness and wallow in the lowest common denominator of our frailty. We can often do the wrong thing and sometimes it is knowingly, sometimes it is out of ignorance, and sometimes it is out of negligent failure to know what we ought. We humans are flawed, but nevertheless, infinitely loved by God who created us.

God knows what we are like and loves us unconditionally as a parent loves their child.

And, just like a parent’s love for a child, - a parent does not condone or encourage bad behaviour or ‘wilful refusal to change one’s ways’ because of the lame excuse that “we are all human and we all make mistakes.” Just because we are human and prone to sin is no excuse to stay in our bad habits and remain in ignorance. We are called, as beloved children of God, to grow and change constantly. We are called to spend our whole lives on a journey of learning, openness, repentance, conversion and transformation, with God’s grace.

So, a major victory achieved through Christ’s death and resurrection must be seen as the forgiveness of human sin. “The scriptures point out is not easy for us to admit that we are sinners and that there is sin in the world. Today we speak of ‘mistakes,’ of ‘faults,’ of ‘misunderstandings’—but sin is also there and not to be denied. Sin is a reality that is still a very unpopular topic, even though really, it is not being falsely humble to say… we are all sinners.

We are all invited to look into our hearts and to know that we need salvation. Jesus needed to die for each and every one of us. We do well to recognize that our own choices against God are part of the sins in our world. Can we accept that Jesus came to die for us and for our sins and that in Him we are redeemed (purchased back by God) – Body and soul?
And we must now live in the light of this wonderful truth!



Abbot’s Homily. Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Fr Paul W. Kelly

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May God bless and keep you.

Third Sunday of Easter-B
Sunday, 15 April 2018)

(EPISODE: 91 )

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy//You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth: Christ, have mercy//You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life: Lord, have mercy.//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.


Easter II

Euch Prayer Three

Communion side. pwk:
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

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